Hiring With Wisdom of Maslow Motivators

By: Daiv Russell

Though the Maslow Needs Hierarchy is apparent in several areas of life, in none of these is it more prevalent than in the business world. With the many and varied stages of life that different people are in, there is a much greater concern about the possibility of conflict in business. While the manager of a department may have achieved the stage of self-actualization and has a family, his/her entry level worker may only be at the cusp of securing their first apartment.

The previous example clearly shows how employees at different points in the Maslow hierarchy are at very different places. When someone is just scraping by and having difficulty meeting their most basic physiological and safety needs, the stress level is very high and worrisome. When someone is under extreme levels of stress, his or her work will certainly deteriorate in both productivity and quality.

Conversely, someone who has met these basic needs, with an apartment, family, and enough money to easily get by, will more often than not provide superior work compared to others. It is difficult to focus in the monotony of the daily workday, and having the ability to provide that focus increases efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.

It is for this reason that it is in the best interests of businesses to hire employees through a vigorous interview process who have the most stable life environment. Taking into account the Maslow theory, staffers should attempt to hire more employees in the self-actualization and esteem stages. Employees in both these stages tend to have others most clearly in mind while working.

Esteem stage employees benefit businesses because their main desire is to gain attention and respect from those around them. They gain this attention and respect by providing quality work and maintaining excellent relationships with other employees. Their competitive drive allows them to excel at their jobs and any kind of workplace competition increases quality performance and workplace cohesion.

Employees in the self-actualization stage are also useful employees. These employees are focused on the task at hand. They have a calmer demeanor, knowing their self-worth and not having the lesser of life's struggles bearing down on them. Also, since people do not stay in a single stage, and my slide back down the pyramid, it is better to have someone who is still high enough on the pyramid, even with a backslide, who will still be a confident, efficient worker.

The Maslow theory has proven useful in many facets of life, but perhaps the business world most importantly. A thorough review of business will find that the more competent, focused, efficient employees on staff, the better the ultimate success of the business. And what better way to secure this success than to hire members of the workforce who embody traits enabled by the top tier of Maslow's pyramid.

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